The happiness and its variation

“A carpenter loves his wife, his children and the nature. Then he meets another woman, a postmistress, who adds happiness to his happiness. Still very much in love with his wife, he does not want to deny, or hide, or lie. One day picnic in Ile-de-France, all is not so simple… ” and This is the synopsis of the movie Happiness, Agnès Varda. At its release in 1965, the film was banned in the minors and called “beautifully shocking” by one critic. Four years before May ‘ 68, it was necessary to dare about as disconnected from any idea of remorse and adultery.

But there is not now in our interests. We would like to draw attention to a proposed mark-up to The movie Happiness, a mini-documentary, ” The Happiness ? Responses Fontenaisiens “. In fact, the responses of the Fontenaisiens and their dispersion in social are closer to the work Work to be happy ? by Christian Baudelot and Michael French (Fayard, 2003).

In their book, Baudelot and French show how the definition of what contributes to the happiness of individuals is dependent upon their social conditions of existence. The question ” what for you is the most important to be happy ? “if there are many individuals, for whom the work is cited first as a participant in their happiness, the words to talk about different greatly depending on the social category membership of the individuals.

It is not irrelevant to speak of his work in terms of job (right lower quarter of the graph), working under the expressions ” have a job “, or the inverse of a profession, occupation, activity. These latter uses are more frequent among the categories of the richest and most educated.

Le bonheur et sa déclinaison

In the documentary by Agnes Varda, the question posed to the Fontenaisiens “what for you happiness ?” reveals the same variations as the work of Baudelot and French. These are the individuals of the working classes, who say that what contributes most to their happiness is to have a job, not be unemployed. The municipal employee who is in the process of sweeping the cemetery responds ” get a job “, ” sub “. A young combination of motorcycle, blue, decorated with many badges to brands, highly visible, says “have a lot of tunes,” another employee ” don’t think about the next day “. Much more frequently in women, happiness is associated with these Fontenaisiens, to love, to the family.

For more information :

– A number of Insee première of ” Should work to be happy? “(Baudelot, French, 1997)

– A lecture given at the ENS-LSH

– A folder of the Café pédagogique

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